Monday, 6 March 2017

ACRBA Tour - Chocolate Soldier by Hazel Barker

6 - 10 March 2017

is Introducing 
(By the Rhiza Press, 1 October 2016)

By Hazel Barker

About the Book:
London. 1940.
When World War II breaks out and men over eighteen are conscripted, Clarence Dover, a conscientious objector, refuses to go rather than compromise his principles.  Instead he joins the Friend's Ambulance Unit.  From the London Blitz to the far reaches of Asia the war tests Clarence in the crucible of suffering.  In the end, will he be able to hold his head up as proudly as the rest and say, to save lives I risked my own?
One man will stand as God's soldier, not the war's soldier.

About the Author:
Hazel Barker lives in Brisbane with her husband Colin. She taught in Perth, Canberra and Brisbane for over a quarter of a century and now devotes her time to reading, writing and bushwalking. From her early years, her passion for books drew her to authors like Walter Scott and Charles Dickens. Her love for historical novels sprang from Scott, and the love of literary novels, from Dickens. Many of her short stories and book reviews have been published in magazines and anthologies.
Hazel’s debut novel Chocolate Soldier, and Book One of her memoirs Heaven Tempers the Wind, will be released in 2016. Both books are set during World War Two – the former in England and the Far East; the latter in Burma.
For more information, visit her blog on:

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this book (not that war is ever enjoyable). I think it's because recently I have been researching my Grandfather's service in the Royal Navy during WW2 - where he served, what his role was and how he got there. Part of if he wrote in a book about his life (never published), and part research on the internet.

This book is what I would call biographical fiction. It's the story of a real person, but with fictional licence so that it reads well and is interesting to the average person picking it up. Life wasn't easy for Conscientious Objectors (or anyone during WW2), but when they were able to find a way to serve without picking up arms, I think they should be commended. Many Conchies did jobs that no one else wanted, and they did it under the ridicule of those around them.

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